U.S. natural gas exporters -- including liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporters -- now need to report only the countries receiving their deliveries, not the country of end-use, to satisfy the Department of Energy's (DOE) destination reporting requirement.

The changes, along with revisions to the types of supply and sales agreements exporters must file, were included in a policy statement issued by DOE on Wednesday that takes effect immediately. 

"With the United States now being the world's top producer of oil and natural gas, it is imperative that U.S. LNG companies have all the tools they need to get their American product into the international market," said DOE Secretary Rick Perry. "By streamlining the destination reporting requirements, the Department of Energy is taking an important deregulatory step forward in order to better provide reliable U.S. LNG to our friends and allies abroad."

DOE had required some exporters to report the final country of end-use of their natural gas or LNG, which could differ from the country receiving the initial physical delivery. The change was made in part due to "the complexity of some LNG export transactions," DOE said.

The policy change was welcomed by the Center for Liquefied Natural Gas (CLNG).

"Greater certainty in a fast-growing global industry provides a strong foundation at home for LNG projects, which create thousands of jobs and bring in billions in investment," said CLNG Executive Director Charlie Riedl. “Certainty is essential for the growing and global LNG market and this policy statement provides greater assurance to LNG buyers and potential customers that the United States is dedicated to providing clean and affordable energy to the world."

In a proposed interpretive rule that was also released Wednesday, DOE seeks to clarify which types of supply and sales contract agreements need to be reported and when they must be filed. DOE currently requires all long-term LNG export authorization holders to report all supply and sales contracts for terms longer than two years. The proposed interpretive rule is open for public comment for 30 days.